Andy Harris, MD, staff scientist and course director of the Global Health Center, has been selected as a 2011 Purpose Prize Fellow in recognition of "extraordinary achievement and continued compelling work" in founding and directing Professionals' Training in Global Health (PTGH).
In 2008 Dr. Harris launched PTGH, a 10-week course offered at OHSU's Global Health Center that trains physicians, nurses, nurse practitioners and physician assistants to treat a range of conditions they may encounter as volunteers on overseas medical missions.
In the past three years, graduates of his PTGH course have served on 49 overseas missions to 24 countries.
Dr. Harris first began providing medical care overseas as a medical student in Sierra Leone in the 1960s. He learned of the need for skilled medical care in low income parts of the world, and over the years worked for short stints in various parts of the world.
But he also knew that he, as well as many of his colleagues who were nearing retirement age, lacked the training to practice medicine in often difficult circumstances overseas and to treat diseases unfamiliar in the U.S. Hence was born this comprehensive course in global health.
Dr. Harris and the PTGH course was recently featured in an OHSU media release.